Pubdate: Thu, 04 Dec 2008
Source: Daily News Tribune (Waltham, MA)
Copyright: 2008 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Author: Alice C. Elwell, GateHouse News Service
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


BOSTON - If you're thinking about strolling down the street
smoking a joint, better wait.

The Nov. 4 ballot initiative that decriminalized marijuana won't
take effect at least until January. Brian McNiff, spokesperson for the
Secretary of State, has said that according to the state's
Constitution, new legislation takes effect 30 days  after an election.
On Wednesday, the Governor's Council certified the Nov. 4 vote.
McNiff said that means a Supreme Judicial Court ruling in 1972 on the
30-day clause in the state Constitution means the 30-day delay starts
today. Once the law is implemented, if someone is caught with less
than an ounce of marijuana, they will face a $100 fine but no criminal
charges. Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz called the
measure " defacto legislation, " even though marijuana is still
illegal." Decriminalization is not legalization, " Cruz said.

" Where are people going to get their marijuana? Not Tedeschi's "
they're going to a drug dealer. Meanwhile, top law officials are
scrambling to figure out how to implement the mandate. Cruz didn't
speculate if cops would start carrying scales, but warned, " drug
dealers aren't stupid, they won't be carrying a pound of marijuana
around." He said dealers will keep it under an ounce and if caught,
chalk the $100 fine to the cost of doing business. Dealers may tack it
on to the price, which is reportedly about $600 an ounce on the street.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin